Exploring the Link Between Nose Picking, Inflammation, and Alzheimer’s Disease

The mechanism of chronic inflammation is at the root of many modern diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, auto-immune diseases and chronic hepatitis. A review of the literature from Western Sydney University has suggested that chronic neuroinflammation triggered by chronic nose picking may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Nose Picking Increases Inflammation and Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Nose picking is a common practice with studies showing high percentages in both adults and adolescents. Removing dried nasal mucus, known as “boogers,” is a common reason for this habit, but it can also become a compulsive behavior related to mental health conditions.

Like your gut, the nasal cavity has its own microbiome that plays a role in protecting your body. Altering this microbiome through nose picking may lead to the spread of pathogens to the brain, contributing to chronic neuroinflammation and potentially increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Studies have found associations between pathogens entering through the nose and triggering neuroinflammation linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The formation of amyloid plaques, a characteristic of Alzheimer’s, is thought to be influenced by this neuroinflammation, suggesting a bi-directional relationship.

In addition to nose picking, periodontal infections and changes in the oral and nasal microbiomes have been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The entry of olfactory pathogens into the brain could potentially contribute to the neuroinflammation seen in this condition.

Researchers suggest that until more is understood about olfactory pathogens in Alzheimer-associated neuroinflammation, improving hand hygiene could be a simple preventive measure.

More Reasons to Keep Your Fingers Out of Your Nose

Aside from the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, there are numerous other reasons to avoid nose picking, especially for those who are sick or have weakened immune systems. Picking your nose can introduce pathogens into your nasal cavity, potentially leading to opportunistic infections and other health complications.

Nose picking can change the nasal microbiome, increasing the risk of infections such as SARS-CoV-2. Other possible consequences include the development of impetigo, damage to nasal tissues, triggering of nosebleeds, and even potential structural damage to the nose.

More Strategies to Help Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer’s

In addition to avoiding nose picking, there are other lifestyle factors to consider in reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Maintaining a healthy diet low in processed sugars, supporting a balanced gut microbiome, and ensuring adequate cholesterol levels are all important in brain health.

Deficiencies in B vitamins, exposure to air pollution, and chronic stress can also impact cognitive function and increase dementia risk. Taking steps to address these factors can help support overall brain health and reduce the chances of developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Tips to Help You Stop Picking Your Nose

If you find yourself struggling to break the habit of nose picking, there are strategies you can implement to help reduce the urge. Keeping your nasal passages moist, staying hydrated, using a humidifier, and seeking professional help for chronic stress and anxiety can all aid in curbing this behavior.

Remember, breaking the habit of nose picking not only supports your overall health but also reduces the risk of potential complications and diseases, including Alzheimer’s. By taking proactive steps to care for your nasal health, you’re investing in your long-term well-being.

Original article by: Dr. Mercola

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